* Undate to this article: We have received positive feedback on a product called Tef-gel, used by riggers and boaters for the purposes of anti-galling and anti-corrosion in marine environments. We have not yet figured out how to get mini quantities into kits cost effectively but there are small-ish versions available in your local chandlery or online.

The PT 11 Nesting Dinghy Connective system is unique and it makes up a decent portion of the cost of the kit. After roughly 200 PT 11's sold to date, there have been very few issues with this connective system. In this article we are aiming to share some lessons learned about these parts based on customer feedback and experience.
A brief description
Our key to easy and fast assembly (of the two hull-halves) is to separate the two main functions of aligning the two halves and joining them.  The alignment hardware is molded from carbon fiber, but it is robust and affordable for us to produce.
The connective hardware, used to join the two hull halves as they are correctly registered by the alignment hardware, are CNC-machined from 316 stainless steel.
This hardware consists of threaded sockets bonded into the forward half of the hull, and sockets with threaded pins and knobs bonded into the aft half; these parts are pre-positioned in the structure. Clip rings ride on the pins to make them captive, and this system allows assembly of the boat in the water without leakage.
The manual instructs builders to keep the stainless parts clean throughout the process of gluing and painting the boat. It is after the boat is finished that we instruct builders to lightly grease their hardware.
Here is where some additional explanation is needed.
A few customers have had a pin get stuck at some point in the completion of their boat. The why of this has been a challenging topic but when it happens, it is terrifying for us as well as for the builder and can be costly to remedy.
According to Wikipedia, "Galling is caused by a combination of friction and adhesion between the surfaces, followed by slipping and tearing of crystal structure beneath the surface.[2] This will generally leave some material stuck or even friction welded to the adjacent surface, whereas the galled material may appear gouged with balled-up or torn lumps of material stuck to its surface. Galling is most commonly found in metal surfaces that are in sliding contact with each other. It is especially common where there is inadequate lubrication between the surfaces."
Why and What to DO:
So, the question is why do the pins sometimes seize and what do we do about it?
The why is a bit of a mystery to all of the experts. One recently seized after it had been greased, so it's not just the lack of grease. We could also change the material of just the pin but hundreds of these have worked fine in all stainless steel.
Tight clearances are probably the cause, but we think we need the snug fit in both the forward and aft sockets to keep the hardware aligned when it's being installed. We are opening up the tolerances a bit on the next run of hardware, but it looks like the best insurance is going to be using a never-seize style of grease, applied after your boat has been finished (to keep grease from screwing up your painting and finishing).
It seems that the seizing is mostly happening at the tail end of the building process, so apply Never-seize * when re-installing the hardware after finishing. Clean the sockets and pins and apply a tiny bit (with a skinny stick of similar) in the threaded sockets and in the aft sockets and rub a little bit on the shiny part of the pins.

If you feel anything like seizing when assembling your boat, STOP. Is there misalignment? If you back out the rest of the pins, will the problem pin loosen up? Do your epoxy shims under the alignment clips need to be block sanded down just a bit? Are the outside edges of your alignment clips contacting the bulkhead edges?

If a pin feels stuck, remove the knob using two wrenches; 14mm and/or 9/16" to remove the knob, nuts and washer.

Using two wrenches (14mm and/or 9/16" to remove the knob, nuts and washer.

Put two nuts together on either end of the pin and tighten them together very tightly with the wrenches. (photos below)

Stand the hull half on end so that a bit of penetrating oil * can be applied and run down into the socket.  Now try tapping and banging on either end with a hammer and wrenching on the end with the double nuts. Remember that the pin can only be removed from the socket in the forward direction because of the captive pin clip.

Still stuck? Get in touch with us.

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If the pin leaves any roughness or scoring on the inside of the socket, that can be removed with a custom tool. Here's how:

Take a short piece of 3/8" dowel, chuck one end up in your drill, wrap sandpaper around the other end, hit the trigger and sand the dowel down until it fits loose enough in the socket that you can wrap some fine (400 or finer grit) sandpaper around the dowel and have it just barely fit in the socket. The sandpaper can be spray glued and rolled tightly on the dowel before using it to sand away any and all burrs and roughness. Finishing with an even finer paper is probably a good idea.

Spray-glue a bit of sandpaper to a flat stick to remove burrs from the pin before cleaning, applying the never-seize, and re-assembling the hardware.

DIY tool for cleaning the socket after removing a galled pin.
DIY tool for cleaning the socket after removing a galled pin.
  • Caring for your connective hardware;
    -Keep it clean before and after installation.
    -As soon as grease is no longer a threat to gluing or paining, grease or ant-seize your hardware.
    -At the first sign of binding, stop and assess alignment and possible causes.
    -Refer to the chapter in your manual titled: Re-ASSEMBLY of Connective Hardware (p.288) including installation of the alignment clips. Precision parts require precision alignment.
    -After a season of use, consider removing your pins, clean and reapply grease or anti-seize, and re-install. Refer to manual pgs. 319-320, "PT11 User Guidelines"

We continue to work on this and may update this blog in the near future as we learn more. You can download a PDF of this post HERE: PT 11-Connective Hardware Blog 2023

Ashlyn & Russell Brown

Our friends at Chesapeake Light Craft will soon be heading west for the Madison WI, and Port Townsend, WA boat festivals.  This is a great opportunity to save on shipping!

Save a bunch of money on shipping! Give us a call and we'll bring your big, heavy stuff with us for pickup in Madison and Port Townsend. Boat kits, big heavy items like rowing units, oars, even small orders of plywood, stuff that can be difficult (and expensive) to ship. Boat kit orders are due by August 16 so we have time to cut, pack, and stow in the rig. This offer's only good until space runs out. Call us today!

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Leo, of Sampson Boat Co / Tally Ho rebuild project, has featured the PT 11 prominently in one of his excellently produced videos. We are a little floored by the feature and yes, very grateful. He surely would not have made such a great video (we think all of his videos are great) if he wasn't happy with his PT 11 and that makes us happy indeed. Thank you Leo!

PT Watercraft maintains an informational website about the PT 11 and the PT Spear and we are available to answer inquiries. Kit orders and kit production is now managed by Chesapeake Light Craft. We still sell our books, various small parts, and serve our pre-CLC customers directly. Sailing Rig production remains in our workshop in Port Townsend.

Leo's video also shows how one person can manage the dinghy from vehicle to beach launch. This is something we got asked about a lot but never managed to film so this is an important addition to the PT 11 videos already online. In case you have not already seen it, click on the image below.

If you are unaware of the Tally Ho videos, we recommend you start from the beginning and subscribe. Leo is a brilliant videographer. This skill greatly compliments his knack for explaining the processes of rebuilding this historic sailboat. Even more valuable in my opinion, is that he is documenting the evolution of learning things as you go that influence how such a project evolves, while showcasing the many skills, tools, materials, and talented people it takes along the way. The videos are  educational, entertaining, and very inspiring.   AEB 😉

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The PT 11 sailing rig is one of our creations that we are quite proud of. The carbon tubes are engineered specifically for this rig and manufactured in Washington at Innovative Composites Engineering. ICElogoIt is fun for us to imagine our tubes along side Space-X & NASA tubes, and among top name windsurfer and paddle boarding tubes. Mostly we are proud that this quick-to-set-up rig, with sail and all hardware & rigging, weighs a scant 10.5 LBS.

Our boom attaches to the mast with a custom gooseneck. For years we have made these goosenecks out of vacuum bagged carbon & epoxy in a multi step process that included a lot of carbon dust, finishing, tapping, assembling, and hand stitching tubular webbing onto the forks for a soft contact point on the mast. OrigGooseneck-smallDSCN0643After hundreds of these, there just had to be a  better way.

In 2021, as we sought to offset increasing costs in general and reduce labor where we could, one of the things we did was redesign our gooseneck. After years of trying to think of a better way, Russell began sketching out a new design based on using 1/2" Delrin plate and CNC router technology.

The resulting gooseneck is clean, practical, stronger, and most importantly, much less labor to finish and install. The new goosenecks are installed by pouring epoxy around them. A tight fitting foam plug traps the epoxy. Speaking of tight fitting foam plugs; there are 7 plugs in the 3 tubes that these rigs are made from, 5 of them custom made of different sizes from dense rigid foam. Why? To keep them from filling with water and sinking of course. Why do we need 7 plugs to plug both ends of 3 tubes? The seventh plug is a secret. 😉

The new gooseneck, right to left: blank, blank with edges rounded, installed in the boom.
The new gooseneck, right to left: CNC machined blank, post-CNC blank drilled & edges rounded, gooseneck installed in the boom.

PT 11 sailing rigs are still produced by Russell and drop-shipped from Port Townsend. They can be purchased through Chesapeake Light Craft. Customers who purchased their PT 11 kits from PT Watercraft pre-2021 should contact us directly regarding PT 11 options. We have experienced periodic delays so lead times vary.

Happy Sailing! ...AEB 😉

UPDATE September 2022- This boat is SOLD!

PNW local,  is currently seeking a good home for his PT 11 nesting dinghy. Please see his description and contact information below. Note that shipping is not an option. Buyer will need to pick up in Port Townsend WA.

Nesting PT 11 for sale fob Port Townsend.  Built in 2015 by the skillful John Caples. Wooden Boat Festival regulars will recall his immaculate wood GB 42 Xanadu and her PT 11 tender.  The skiff is available, complete with PT sail kit (gorgeous foils, carbon mast and PT 11 class sail which still exudes that brand new dacron feel).  Varnished, nearly flawless wooden oars included.  This PT 11 comes complete with a low-hours EP Carry electric motor with two batteries and spare key and prop.  Yellow canvas cover.  Bags for protection of foils and mast/sail. All in fine condition.

 

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This first quarter of 2022 has been interesting for Russell and I here at Port Townsend Watercraft.

Chesapeake Light Craft continues successful production of the PT 11 Nesting Dinghy Kit. You can see the details on their page here.

What has changed?

PT 11 Nesting Dinghy kit packed for shipping from Chesapeake Light Craft 2022
PT 11 Nesting Dinghy kit packed for shipping from Chesapeake Light Craft 2022

There is a price difference from our previous rates. This was to be expected. For one thing, CLC includes the WEST SYSTEM Epoxy Kit that had been an option on our package. We are happy about this because we have always recommended WEST SYSTEM for this project. Anther big one is that our cost of the connective hardware doubled. They are, however, exquisite thanks to a local machine shop here in PT. The total kit price hike reflects both the inclusion of the epoxy kit and material price increases across the board from plywood to stainless steel. That considered, customer investment has not increased by much because we made efforts to streamline production of certain parts to offset those inevitable material price increases. Russell and I would have been hard pressed to continue production on our own with all this factored in..

CLC also has a well established packing system for their kits. This makes the kit package more manageable than our long and heavy plywood crate.

In our shop in Port Townsend we have finally been touched by the "supply chain delays" talked about in the daily news streams. A lack of sail cloth, delayed our sail production. We finally learned this after several ETA predictions that came and went without sails. We are assured this time that sails are on their way so we can ship out the rigs on order. (Talk about stress!)ptwatercraft.comRussell has been doing a deep dive into the boat building technique referred to as 'Tortured plywood'. One of the 3 foot models (of which there are at least 8 versions), have been translated into 27ft long hulls. This project has been both exciting and frustrating beyond expectation. More to come on that later.

Early stages of tortured plywood hulls.
Early and very deceptive stage of tortured plywood hulls. This technique is somewhat miraculous.
Jzerro 'flying' in Puget Sound
Jzerro 'flying' in Puget Sound

Those who know about Russell's earlier boats, including his windward proas, may have seen our videos of "Jzerro". We sold Jzerro a few years ago and of late, have anxiously followed the new owner Ryan Finn, on his massive journey from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn. This last week, Ryan rounded Cape Horn successfully and has been flying northward at speeds from 9 to 19MPH on the edges of and through gales and rough seas. You can follow his tracker progress here.

Also see 2 Oceans 1 Rock on FB for descriptions of his journey.

 

More updates to come soon, including the 2022 Shipwright's Regatta this Saturday (Postponed a month due to a gale in the bay in FEB 26th. (there may be more than one PT 11 this year!) and an update on our new goose-neck design. AEB 😉

It has begun, Friends! Chesapeake Light Craft has their first orders for the PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy and we look forward to this relationship being successful. image of the clcboats.com PT 11 page

The CLC team has been working diligently through the many details related to our collaboration. We thank them for including the PT 11 in their catalog.

Ordering info Link

Port Townsend Watercraft will be updating our website to function better on multiple devices and to reflect the changes in our business. We will maintain information about our designs as supplemental to the CLC website, and we will be creating new content related to our designs and our books.

We remain open to feedback, photos, and those particular questions that only we might be able to answer for now. Please send your favorite PT 11 photos to Ashlyn's GMAIL : PTWATERCRAFT@

THANK YOU to everyone who asked us to keep production of the PT 11 active and to all who have built our boats.

We are particularly fond of PT 11-in-action pictures and beautifully scenic pictures where even a small portion of the PT 11 is visible. Did you personalize your boat with some special detail? What color did you paint it? Of course, we love animals and pets-in-the-PT 11 pictures are welcome too.

PT 11 kits will become available this year if all goes as planned. The hiccups include supply chain issues and rising shipping and material costs. We are making forward progress.

We have been working with a well established kit company who long mentored our fledgling business and really wants to produce our kits. We will continue to manufacture and supply them with specific parts that make our kits unique.
This has been an incredibly interesting and challenging task to put our process into a transferable format. We are ‘creatives’, not ‘business managers’ persay. That we have managed, is nothing short of amazing to me as I fill in lengthy spreadsheets with suppliers, part numbers, current pricing, how many of what per kit, etc. Everything needed updated numbers. This rather daunting assignment has simply taken time to accomplish as Russell continues to make large runs of certain parts that get stocked in advance, to determine how those parts should be priced.
We have redesigned our rudder and daggerboard with help from very skilled friends. The new foils are thinner (18mm), denser, and slicker. The birch plywood is not as handsome for clear coating as the Okoume but we are pretty pleased with the overall change. Modifying the foils kits affected several other parts of the kit, so those changes are being made as well as a total rewrite of the foils manual.
We are working on a boomless rig for the PT 11. Why? Besides greater simplicity of set up and even lighter weight, a large portion of the cost and labor in our current sailing rig is in the boom. We have asked our favorite sail designers to work on this but getting a prototype is one of the supply chain hiccups. We know there will be trade-offs. It is the only way we see being able to keep producing sailing rigs that we would want to use ourselves.
With the retirement of our connective hardware machinist at the end of 2019, early inquiries at machine shops nationwide were not encouraging and we will not take this overseas. We discovered, however, that Port Townsend has a first class, family owned and operated machine shop. Truth be told, the initial quote took time to digest but we considered quantity, precision, and other local advantages. We just picked up the first run and the parts are excellent.

Kit pricing is to be determined but we expect minimal change. Our efforts to simplify parts of production are also intended to offset increased costs in other areas aiming to stabilize cost to the builder.

We expect to announce kit availability later this Summer. The details of ordering will be explained in the next update.

I continue to add names to a list of seriously interested builders. Everyone on that list will receive an email update before this blog. I do this because some of you have been waiting a year for news of kit production continuing. It is all of you on that list especially, whom I wish to thank for your patience and encouragement. It is deeply appreciated. We are excited about finding a pathway forward.
First in production will be the PT 11 Nesting Dinghy and second, the PT Spear. We are not 'there' just yet and we totally understand if you find or have found a different project to work on.

Thank you again,
Ashlyn Brown

P.S.
The PT Skiff is not in our hands at this time. There is no manual that addresses design changes. The designers may have some information for experienced builders but we will not be offering tech support for that project for the time being.

Customers launched new boats in 2020 and I am happy to share photos and comments we have received.

Klaas-BiketrailerPT11
Bicycle trailer!

"Russell & Ashlyn   I wanted to let you know that we finally finished our PT11 dinghy.   And although we haven’t sailed it yet in warm water, we have tested it out in CO.  My wife has proclaimed rowing it is “oargasmic”.  So I am very happy to have built it, and thankful to you for such an awesome design, kit and instructions. " JB

B.AlexanderPT11_1309
With an EP Carry 'outboard'
 
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"Back in the late 60's, Tim Buckley put out a delightful album titled "Happy/Sad". That somewhat describes my state of mind these days: I'm very happy to have completed my PT-11 and beyond happy at how exquisitely it rows and sails. But I'm also sad at not having more shop time and the learning that came with its building. In all my years of construction and car restoration, I have never had a project which I enjoyed as much (except sanding the fillets). So I want to express my appreciation to the two of you for the design, support, and unbelievably complete construction manual." RS
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Nick pt1180220_9947
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"As you can see, my maiden voyage was a row with my wife- then I went out sailing on my own. I hadn't built the bailer bungee, so the bailer was in one of the compartments, tied in with a long line. Needless to say I capsized and couldn't get to it, but since I was pretty close to shore I discovered that the Spear sails pretty decently fully swamped. I tipped out the water on the beach and then had a great sail. Back on the beach a crowd was formed to see the nut sailing in November in Nantucket, but as soon as they saw the interior the questions started- what kind of wood is that? What kind of varnish did you use to get that awesome finish (er, well, none yet)." DS

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foggy sailboat scene
fog and smoke in the San Juan Islands September 2020
social distancing on the water in a PT 11 nesting dinghy and a PT Spear.
social distancing on the water in a PT 11 nesting dinghy and a PT Spear.
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Raptor deck
PT11 in Pacific atoll
A PT 11 touring the Pacific
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A "sighting" in Rhode Island

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Seadeck
Seadeck

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